The Holms Race


5 SEPTEMBER UPDATE: thanks for supporting the 2020 Holms Race – PROVISIONAL results are published below

4 SEPTEMBER UPDATE: Entries and handicaps published below. Please ensure that you have read the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions before you start. Have a fantastic day on the water!

6 AUGUST UPDATE: Entries for the 2020 Holms Race are now open! The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions have been published below, significant changes from last year are:

  • The start/finish line has moved back to Battery Point
  • There will be no social events this year
  • There is no entry fee this year (although competitors must enter to be eligible for prizes and berthing offers)
  • All competitors must abide by local social distancing rules in force at the time of the event
  • Entry are via online form only (here)


The Holms race is the most high profile event in the club calendar with a typical entry of over 50 boats from clubs around the Bristol Channel.

It is held in late August or early September and is a down tide race starting and finishing off Portishead, with a course of NW Elbow to port, Flat Holm to Port, Steep Holm to port, NW Elbow to starboard and finish.

Competitors choose their own start time from 2 hours after high water based on the tidal streams and the wind with the aim of passing between the Holms at slack water.

The elapsed time taken is corrected for open handicap and with a tidal correction to correct for the natural advantage for slower handicap boats on down tide races.

After the race on Saturday competitors are invited to attend a venue close to the marina for a hot meal, drinks and the results and prize giving.

Here’s a video of the 2011 race and one of the 2012 race

The 2020 edition takes place on Saturday 5th September, with high water Avonmouth at 11:30 BST. Please see links below for:

Entry Form
Notice of Race
Sailing Instructions
– Our Sponsors boatfolk and Tingdene

– Results:

– Entries and handicaps:


2019 Results:

2018 Results:

2017 Results: